A case for our times

Four oral arguments–all of which will happen relatively early in the day–will be the “main attractions” (as a renowned scribe referred to them) at tomorrow’s Panelpalooza in the S.D.N.Y.  But three of those qualify primarily due to the number of parties involved.  MDL 2394-captioned In re Real Estate Transfer Tax Litigation–boasts issues above and beyond the usual “where are these cases going?” raised by standard Panel fare, in addition to scores of parties and counsel.

MDL 2394 is a sad reflection on our times in that it is a product of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s taking title to scads of foreclosed homes nationwide.  Evidently, those government-sponsored enterprises (“GSEs”) have claimed exemption from statutes in 35 states that normally require the payment of transfer taxes upon the sale of real property.  Much litigation has resulted therefrom.

Plaintiff Genesee County (Mich.) initiated the Panel action, citing common factual issues in cases which, on their faces, arguably entail only a common legal issue.  See imPaneled’s favorite statute (“When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts . . .”) (emphasis added).  The GSEs predictably raised that in opposing centralization, as did several defendants, big and small, not common to the underlying cases.  And, in yet another  unusual development, a small number of plaintiffs sided with the defendants in opposing centralization.

imPaneled looks forward to compelling oral arguments as to MDL 2394, as well as all of the other action tomorrow.  Stay tuned for coverage–maybe not in-depth coverage, but coverage nonetheless.

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  • About the blogmaster

    Bart Cohen is the principal of the Law Office of Bart D. Cohen, where he represents his clients in class actions and other complex litigation, and Winning Briefs, where he polishes, edits and drafts written work product for overextended lawyers.

    His unnatural appetites for rules and research of all kinds have made him an expert on proceedings before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He feeds those appetites and chronicles the battles to land lead counsel appointments that are fought in part before the Panel on imPaneled.

    You can contact Bart here or connect with him here.

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